Lifestyle Changes - Tips & Tricks

  • Hello everybody,

    I've expressed more than once in the Gaming Discussion forum about how I never seem to play as many video games as I desire. It is 2018 and a perfect time for some lifestyle changes that centre around:

    1. Playing more video games
    2. Having more energy, strength, time, motivation, etc

    What better place to ask for this advice than a gaming forum? A little background about myself. I am 23, I work in the media industry where I've made documentaries, art exhibits, and I am currently a Production Coordinator. My work is a weekday 9-5 (10-6 in my case) type situation. Nothing crazy.

    However, I struggle to balance my social life (mainly weekends), general life things (walking home from work, buy groceries, cook dinner, laundry, etc), my interests (video games, films, editing more, etc). I feel by the time I come home, make my dinner, and do the dishes, it is 9pm, I am zonked and ready for bed. Therefore, LITTLE TO NO VIDEO GAMES :(

    Some users have already sent me some advice pertaining to simply eating healthier which will produce more energy. I am thankful for this advice. I believe what I want to do to play more video games is to try and fall asleep earlier, wake up earlier, and play a few hours before work every day.

    Going along with this, I am asking for any other health advice such as good recipes or any good at home work out routines so I can start the process of gaining more energy and getting into the morning person lifestyle. I used to go to the gym but I have a lot of neck pain and am getting an MRI shortly to see what is wrong with me. In the meantime, I'm starting a spinning class after work so that should also help.

    Thank-you to any and all advice you give me so I can start these changes. I really want to play more than 5 games in 2018 and also keep the busy social life I currently have been valuing a lot more in 2016-2017.

    Go ahead and use this thread to ask your own questions. I'm sure this forum is more diverse than expected, and we can likely provide a lot of different perspectives.

    Have fun playing 2018!

  • @DIPSET Yeah, I was in the same boat months ago. Here's a few things I changed, some of which align with what you're doing or thinking of doing.

    Probably one of the biggest things for me was eating healthier. I've never been a large person but I was at my heaviest point in my entire life and decided to switch it up. Luckily, the place I work has a full kitchen downstairs so instead of devouring an entire pizza or burger each day, I usually have a Cobb salad and some water. Not sure if you can afford it, but I've heard good things about food services like Blue Apron, which not only present healthy options, but would save you some time when going to the grocery store.

    Eating healthy is great but just being more active leads to... being more active. It's a weird cycle. So I did the unthinkable and downloaded Pokemon Go and started playing with a few friends, sometimes walking around parks for hours. Mix in some push ups, sit ups, and the purchase of a DDR mat and I'm on my way to maybe actually being in shape.

    The biggest change for me though was how much I sleep each night. Unfortunately, my schedule changes each week and can sometimes have me coming in to work at 7 am or 6 pm, so while the schedule isn't routine, I actually just had to cut back on how much I sleep. A solid 6-8 hours is all I need but I would sometimes get 10+ due to the deadly combo of depression and laziness. So yeah, it may seem obvious, but more time awake led to being more productive which led to more energy.

    My last point is not forcing yourself to play games if you aren't in the mood. Variety is absolutely the spice of life. I find if I want to play a game I'm much more apt to do it, as opposed to if I feel I need to play a game, if that makes any sense. Lots of fresh air, reading, spending time with friends, etc. is important for perspective and can give you greater joy when you do finally sit down for that gaming session. Dunno if any of this helps but hey, figured I'd respond at least.

  • It all helps!

    I'm not heavy either, just a little bit out of shape. I walk about 60 min a day but I feel like I need some serious exercise besides that. I think the healthy eating will help with the lesser sleep because I'm dead if I don't get that 8 hours.

    Unfortunately I can't afford Blue Apron, Chef's Plate or anything like that but I'm pretty sure I can manage without. I saw this cookbook with simple healthy recipes that I may buy on my way home from work today actually.

  • I'm in a similar boat, between working and going to school I don't have a ton of time for games. My advice it to really embrace handhelds. No, they don't look as good as a console game but they're still super fun to play and there are some amazing older games out there for handheld. The Switch obviously has a lot of games that people are excited about, but the 3DS has a huge library and access to all of the previous DS libraries. The Vita, while not very popular is a great way to play JRPG's They have every Persona game from 1 to 4. They've got all the Dangan Ronpa's and a ton of Final Fantasy Titles. Not to mention a boatload of overlooked but amazing Vita games. Taking games on the go really does make a difference, and just being able to take your games anywhere in your house helps a lot.

    As for energy and being a morning person, you kind of just have to jump in to it. My classes start at 7AM which means I have to wake up at 5AM every day, which was initially very challenging, but is now a lot easier because I'm used to it. By shifting your sleep schedule, your body will naturally adjust. And taking vitamins in the morning or having some energizing tea really helps. Tea in general helps with overall wellness. I like David's Tea a lot, there's lots of different varieties for various purposes.

  • Recently i have been playing video games for like 30-60 minutes after studying (after i'm done studying a subject or when i feel that my brain is beginning to get tired), in my case it keeps unnecessary stress away and motivates me to study more in a day. It's rewarding the brain, basically. You should try to allocate specific circumstances where you can play for a bit.

    As for exercising, i used to jog in the park twice every week with my friends, but since we went our separate ways, that routine has completely gone nowhere. Now, i'm nowhere near as fit as i used to be. Maybe try to ask your friends to go exercise with you, that could motivate you.

    I usually wake up way earlier than i need to. I go to lectures at 8am, but i usually wake up at somewhere around 5 am. It's because i found out that i feel much more energized and "fresh" during the day when i do wake up earlier. I don't know why exactly though. I know it's hard to resist the sweet temptations of your bed, especially when it's not a habit, but as long as you're consistent, you'll be a morning person in no time.

    I know nothing about eating healthy, would love to hear other's advice too.

  • Oh man I was a student from 2013-2017 and I played so many more video games than I do now in the working world. I miss those days when I didn't have class or my classes ended by 1pm, etc. I almost wished I had more morning stuff to get me in the routine better.

  • I really need my 8 hours of sleep too. I would just suggest to get on a good schedule in addition to the other things mentioned here. Going to bed and getting up around the same time can be helpful in boosting your energy levels.

    If you're unsure about eating healthy, take it a bit at a time. Start by grabbing a piece of fruit or some vegetables as a snack.. if you eat bread, buy whole grain instead of white and build from there. I will say that cutting out sugar as much as possible will make a huge difference almost immediately. Otherwise I'd say just do some research and try new recipes to see what you like.

    @michemagius I had a couple jobs that I had to get up at 5 for.. I never got used to it haha

  • I'm going to second @michemagius and say that you should embrace handhelds. I'm on a (now extended) year of the backlog, and my vita/3DS have been invaluable at helping me catch up on a whole slew of classic games I missed growing up. I don't have a stable enough lifestyle to invest in console gaming (low salary, fieldwork-related travel), so this helps me scratch the itch. I play about 30 min to an hour every night, and I'm fine with it.

    Regarding a healthy/active lifestyle, that's definitely a bit harder. I've been an athlete my whole life, so when I "retired" after college, I was really only able to stop working out for about a week before I felt like I was about to jump out of my skin. Just try to make it a habit. Even if it's just a super short 15 minute bodyweight workout, try to get moving every day for a full week. Mix it up with the occasional jog (EZA thankfully has a wealth of podcasts for you to listen to as you run) so you don't become overly reliant on the same workouts. I'm more than happy to send you some quick entry level workouts, if you'd like. The key is doing something every day. That will help you set up a habit.

    Also, learn to love cooking! It's cheaper than eating out! When I had my first job and was living alone for the first time, I'd put EZA streams on in the background, so I really felt like I was multitasking. Start simple (if you can nail scrambled eggs you're pretty much a god), then work in some veggie stir-fry, some tofu, and the all-important chicken breast. Again, more than happy to send you some simple recipes if you want, but you should check out "Basics with Babish" on youtube if you want some better tasting simple stuff than I make. He just released a short video about pantry essentials that's really worth a watch. Try to avoid Ramen as your cheap meal, since a lot of the packaged stuff you get in the stores here is terrible for you. If you have the money, invest in a cheap rice-cooker. Much easier than cooking rice on a stove and just about impossible to screw up!

  • Week One of changes begins.

    • Joining a spin class trial on Thursday (RIP)
    • Meal prepped for 3 days
    • Vita changed (and my DSLR cam, two hobbies ready-to-go)
    • High spirits!!

    Thanks guys